Unilever’s Slimfast leverages mobile, social to create weight-loss conversation
October 23, 2013
Unilever’s Slimfast is inviting consumers to participate in a mobile-social conversation about losing weight with augmented reality and a revamped mobile site.
The Slimfast ad appears in Allure’s November issue and directs readers to the Slimfessions application or microsite to participate in the conversation. When readers scan the page, different copy such as “Go from baby weight to oooh baby!” will appear in the woman's thought bubble.
"The ‘Slimfessions’ ads are part of a new Slimfast campaign that encourages women to share real and highly personal reasons for wanting to slim," said Naomi Cody, senior brand manager at Slimfast, Englewood Cliffs, NJ. "The Slimfessions campaign is a 360-degree program that touches our consumers where they already are through social media, print ads and the augmented reality app.
"The new augmented reality app leverages the latest technology in mobile and allows women to engage with Slimfessions on the go," she said.
The print ad in Allure encourages readers to download the app and then point their phone at the thought bubble “to reveal my true thoughts.”
The Slimfessions app is available for free download in Apple’s app store.
When the reader opens the app and hovers it over the thought bubble, different phrases pop up. The phrases are generated by consumer submissions.
By requiring consumers to download the branded app to unlock the augmented reality feature, Slimfast can increase app downloads.
However, it may seem like too much effort for a reader to download a specific app to view the feature. Ads that use generic apps to unlock augmented reality can bank on the fact that readers may already have the required app, but for Slimfast, this requires an extra step from readers.
"Share of voice is a definite benefit," said John D. Fauller, chief operating officer of Snipp Interactive, Washington, DC. "It is 100 percent Slimfast.
"In addition, the other functionality such as commerce and user generated content can be managed. This is sometimes problematic to do within a generic augmented reality app," he said. "A huge challenge in this case is making the case that the app is worth a download from one page in a magazine containing many.
"It's a delicate balance that is ultimately driven by goals of the program. In this instance, the benefits of delivering a more feature-rich experience to a smaller audience could have outweighed a lesser experience to a wider audience."
The ad also urges readers to share their own reasons for dieting at slimfessions.com, a mobile-optimized microsite. The site allows users to “slimfess” by uploading text, photo or video.
The homepage of the Slimfessions app displays a button that says “Scan the Slimfast ad.” The app also lets consumers “slimfess” or see other “slimfessions.”
Additionally, the app lets users watch videos of women thinking of reasons to lose weight.
Users can also view and buy Slimfast products in the app, as well as view Slimfast recipes.
Slimfast also updated its mobile site this week to include geo-location features that help consumers find products.
Augmented reality is a great way to bring a static print ad to life and provide additional content and information.
A number of different marketers are using the technology already.
For example, Marriott Hotels recently placed an augmented-reality packed ad in Wired magazine to accompany its Travel Brilliantly campaign (see story).
Estée Lauder’s Bobbi Brown Cosmetics also leveraged augmented reality in an interactive print-to-mobile campaign that lets users browse and shop beauty looks (see story).
Slimfast decided to tap into the technology too so that it could engage with its mobile-savvy audience.
"Our Slimfast Slimmer is a girl on the go," Ms. Cody said. "We see that in the way she consumes our shakes and bars, as well as media.
"In fact, almost 30 percent of our site traffic comes from a mobile device," she said.
"Mobile is so important to Slimfast that we’ve completely revamped our mobile site. Yesterday, we went live with our brand new mobile site, with enhanced features like a geo-location product finder. It’s all about making life easier for our Slimmer."
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York
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